Like most of the souls behind the eyes reading this, I appreciate words. In fact, it’s not at all a stretch to say I love words. Always have, going all the way back to the Dick and Jane days.
I got a slight advantage when it came to words back in the early days of school. The tool, or one of the main tools, for dealing with a kid with a speech impediment was reading. I was forced to use that tool a lot. And while my mathematics surely suffered, my reading didn’t, least wise until I finally figured out how to say my dead gum “R’s”.
By the time I hit fourth grade I was a regular at the school library on Friday afternoons. I don’t remember the librarian’s name, but I remember her and her New York accent. She was the person that introduced me to Beverly Cleary. I read everyone of her books that they had in our humble grade school library.
The librarian loved that I loved books like she did. Her face would light up with passion as she’d recommend books for me. Eventually she had me reading books that were aimed at teaching life lessons to teenagers, even though I was a long way from being one.
Being all boy, the librarian knew that I’d love and devour the books by Henry Gregor Felsen. And that I did. I loved the mental pictures of those chopped coupes. That’s probably why I still appreciate early ’30’s coupes, especially a ’33 Plymouth… say… bright purple?
My book loving librarian gave me another “must read” titled “It’s Like This, Cat”, by Emily Neville. It’s on my top twenty books of all time. I liked it so much that I ended up with a paperback copy of it. And four years later I was that kid who ended up being moved to the big city… with a couple of cats to keep me company.
As time went on, even with the distractions of sports, girls, and cars, I devoured all the classics, Steinbeck probably being my favorite. Bill Shakespeare probably my least, although I recognize his genius. So it’s probably not a big surprise that the kid born in Arkansas and raised in the Arizona desert has read more Louis L’Amour books than you can shake a stick at.
The world of words are a lot like many things, in regard to the gift of using them. I marvel when I see what a professional basketball player can do with a ball and a hoop. A mason brandishing his trowel with mastery, a carpenter sinking a nail with amazing speed and precision, a chef, with the same ingredients we all have access to, making something taste like it’s out of this world.
When I read words, basic words, words we all know and have access to, put together in a way that makes me think or just enjoy the gift of telling a story, I’m gratified in my soul.
When I ponder words, and my utter respect and love for them, I can’t help but hear the words from John 1 in my head; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The Word was Jesus Christ and the interpretation of that word “Word”, in part, in Greek is “Divine Expression”. God’s perfect Word. Nothing we can say or create will compare to the most powerful and perfect Word.
But we appreciate The Word and the words from Him. It’s part of being made in God’s image, I believe.
So in the season of Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be thankful for the words we share… and ultimately The Word. ‘Cause if you’re like me, you love Words, going all the way back to the Dick and Jane days.